Champion Dental Mindset with Noobie Dentist – IC014

It’s my sister’s wedding but the Protrusive team managed to get this out for you – and boy it is a good one! Dr Omid Azami AKA The Noobie Dentist will inspire to you adopt a growth Mindset.

Check out this  full episode on YouTube

Need to Read it? Check out the Full Episode Transcript below!

“Have that mindset like ‘it’s a journey’, you’re never ‘there’ necessarily. You can always get better, and do more.” – Dr. Omid Azami

Here with me, Dr. Omid Azami, host of Noobie Dentist Podcast, who inspires and gives voices to clinicians all over the world and inspiring Dentists. In this Interference Cast, we discuss all about:

  • Tips on making life more efficient, better and more productive. (09:26)
  • Key attributes that help a young dentist to become great. (16:33)
  • Tips and tricks to make a habit of taking photos. (20:54)
  • Journey of self-discovery. Finding your pathways and niche. (24:20)
  • Importance of mentorship, even remote mentorship. (32:58)
  • Most inspirational guest from Noobie dentist and their takeaways (39:03)

If you want to learn more, please do subscribe at  Dr. Omid Azami’s Noobie Dentist Podcast

If you liked this episode, you will definitely love and will learn a lot from the episode 10 Habits of Highly Successful (and Most Valued) Dentists 

Click here for Full Episode Transcription:

Opening Snippet: As an example early on i was all about the money right? I was, you know, in toronto I was a new grad I was like I want to make you know x amount of dollars per year and day to day like my happiness was like up and down on how much production I had and how much I was making and it was pretty early on I was like man this is not a good way to like think about dentistry of just like how much money am I making. Let's instead focus on my clinical outcomes like is my restoration is looking better today? Is my marginal contours better? Is my contacts better? Is my extractions faster and cleaner? Is my post-op comforts? So that's I had that mind you know mindset change and it really made me happier because I was challenging myself to you know learn the craft better day to day instead of just focusing on the money and the outcome side of it...

Jaz’s Introduction: Hello, Protruserati. I’m Jaz Gulati. Welcome to this interference cast with Omid Azami better known as the host of the Noobie Dentist podcast. This episode was actually shot many months ago. Right now when i’m recording this introduction I’m quite nasal. I’m so sorry. I have got a bit of a non-covid bug. It’s a bad timing but at least it’s non-covid. I’ve got that confirmed. It’s my sister’s wedding at the moment and for those of you who are familiar with Indian weddings It’s not like a one-day affair, I wish it was a one-day affair. This is like a three-week bonanza I am so grateful I have just one sibling but anyway let’s make the most of it. I’ve got my son. I’ve got good food to look forward to. Dancing. Indian colors and festivities and traditions. So I’ve got a lot of that going on. I’ve got a lot of the episodes on autopilot that have been pre-recorded So they’ll be getting released by the team over the next few weeks. So you won’t go a week without having a Protrusive dental podcast episode, don’t worry. This themes, the themes that we cover in this episode are very much related and intertwines some of the previous themes that we’d cover The theme of journey. The theme of career decisions. The theme of mindset and the theme of just being the best version of you. The two biggest takeaways that you might get from this episode is funnily enough something I like to call toilet university and yes I have no shame and number two is something that only describes later in the episode as the social multiplier effect and something that’s so relevant in dentistry. So i hope you enjoyed me and Omid just you know have vibing out chatting about dentistry in Australia. Dentistry in UK and how to power up your mindset in dentistry. I hope you enjoyed this one.

Main Interview: Omid Azami, welcome to the Protrusive Dental Podcast, you are better known as the Noobie, well you i don’t know if you are the Noobie dentist but your podcast called The Noobie dentist but maybe that was inspired by the situation that you felt in so let’s go straight in what inspired you to make the Noobie dentist which by the way has been awesome i’ve been listening to it. It’s such a great resource so please jump on and subscribe to Noobie dentist as well but you are the original noobie dentist Tell us how did that get to be? I appreciate it man thank you for having me on. I’m a big fan of your work as well and your podcast and you’re doing great things like i was telling you earlier when i first started the podcast it was sort of a small space. I mean there was you know Mark Costas an the howard friends of the world and you kind of knew every podcast that was out there is a millennial dentist and you know shared practices So when I first started there was a lot of business of dentistry podcast so i was i enjoyed the topic a lot you know, how to start a practice, how to control your overhead, how to communicate with patients and case acceptance but i didn’t find a lot of sort of practical day-to-day clinical topics being discussed and so i thought that was a cool niche that i personally as a consumer podcast wanted to kind of find and learn and so at the time it was 2016 i graduated from Melbourne dental school and I had moved back to toronto where i’m originally from so. I moved back and i was working in different practices and i just didn’t have a network because i you know in Melbourne you know i’m pretty outgoing and a good networker and so all my university demonstrators and things were people who i you know could rely on as mentors and things but when i moved back it was tough i didn’t have them those people around me to help me with cases and how to deal with difficult situations. So early on instagram was pretty good as well so i started the noobie dentist instagram account first and i said once i get this audience big enough i’ll try and convert that to the podcast and obviously it’s tough, it’s hard to put yourself out there.You’re nervous like what if i make it, no one listens to it, no one you know subscribes to it So it took me a while. – Did you have the same moment Did you have the same objection that I had? The one that i had the biggest one i had was i hate the sound of my own voice. Did you have that one? It’s cringy man. I still cringe i mean i’m getting a bit better with it now and i’m trying to become a better speaker and try and control that but for me now it’s video because i’ve started to you’re good with video because you record your podcast and release them but didn’t you know dabble in video until recently and that was a very big thing because i was quite trying to do that and things but yeah just you know getting back to the podcast point it was about mentorship I just wanted to connect with local dentists in toronto first through the instagram community started that and start to grow and you know eventually some dentists in the US and then abroad and yeah it was just a small hobby and it’s amazing how a couple years of sticking with something things can grow and expand and to see where things are and you know being here having the opportunity to speak with you and while you’re in the UK and I’m here in Australia, it’s quite amazing It’s so cool and I know you’ve got this because you just mentioned it but it is just the most flattering, humbling, sensational feeling when someone from like Kingston, Jamaica messages you or i had a student the other day from Germany messaging me saying, I love listening to the Protrusive Dental podcast or whatever and you must get loads of messages from various countries of the world and it’s just one of the best feelings and that really keeps us going in terms of you know making stuff because people is helping people and your podcast has definitely done that i mean generation of young dentists and I always say it’s never been a better time to be a dentist than today because there’s so much i don’t know how it is in australia oh me tommy Do you feel as the morale is low in dentistry or do you feel like there’s lots of like problems because in the UK, I don’t know how much you know, I feel like you probably know a lot because you’ve had guests from all over the world but the morale can be really low in the UK and with the fear of litigation and the public sector and how that’s funded. So the morale can be low but you know, my mission is to convince everyone that it’s never been a better time than today to be a dentist. What do you think? – I love that. I think that’s great and i really think that’s a positive message to be spreading It is true like it’s people get burnt out i have friends, even myself i’ve been through like the waves of the work is stressful, your patients aren’t always grateful necessarily but i think the way you’re approaching it in terms of you know education, learning, doing better work, providing better care for your patients i think that’s one way to kind of get out of it. I think and the message i’ve been telling people in in the podcast and things is how you portray? How you see dentistry is how you measure yourself in dentistry so as an example early on i was all about the money right i was you know in toronto i was a new grad i was like i want to make you know x amount of dollars per year and day to day like my happiness was like up and down on how much production i had and how much i was making and it was pretty early on i was like man this is not a good way to like think about dentistry of just like how much money am I making. Let’s instead focus on my clinical outcomes like is my restoration is looking better today? Is my marginal contours better? Is my contacts better? Is my extractions faster and cleaner? Is my post-op comfort. So that’s you know mindset change and it really made me happier because i was challenging myself to you know learn the craft better day to day instead of just focusing on the money and the outcome side of it. So I do agree there’s tough times especially in the UK and other countries in Europe you hear with the NHS and the reimbursements and things being so tricky. We have a lot of UK dentists here in Australia because they flee the public system there to come here. – The refugees of the dental system. It’s so true Yeah, it’s definitely tough. I think we have it quite good in Australia in terms of insurance, reimbursements and things still. So the litigation side is a big one that personally weighs quite heavily on me as well because we you know all most of us come from a good place and we don’t do things to harm patients or don’t do treatment with the eye of it failing but if it does and then patients come at you with that threat. It’s just like a bad place to be How much do you know let me ask this. How much is like a maybe a dentist five years out of dental school general dentistry like you are. How much would you expect to pay for your you know dental protection or insurance or whatever in Australia? – So there’s different companies with different rates. I would say probably the lower end would be about eight hundred dollars and then the higher end would be about three thousand dollars. So that’s like the sort of the range i would say Oh my goodness these are Australian dollars, right? – Yeah, what is it like in the UK Okay are you sat comfortably? Are you, you’re not going to like face, right? The lowest of the lowest end and this is what general dentists is not like a public sector community The general dentist the lowest of the lowest of the lowest is probably around about and it’s like after five years qualification. Non-implant. Nothing complicated, the lowest lowest is two and a half thousand three thousand pounds is the lowest of lowest right? You’re looking at 6k 8k gbp, okay? And i know plenty of people are on that and for a lot of people it’s the second biggest monthly expense after their mortgage after their house right? So the house, number one. Number two is there So it’s just paints a picture of what it’s like you know in the UK with litigation stuff So that’s why when i was in singapore, I felt as though this massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders and you know it’s good of you to sort of say that you feel yourself that maybe perhaps you don’t feel as strangled by that because the biggest thing you said was burnout was as a real issue whereas here that yeah there’s burnout but there’s so many other complicated factors but I don’t. I want to keep this episode positive because there’s so much positivity about you Omid as a person and i love the fact that we’re into the same things like we’re into this self-help, productivity. All these sorts of cool things and you’re always putting out these like weekly mentorship things which people should totally check out about how to be the best version of you. So my question to you, my friend is we have a lot of similar interests in that productivity habits that sort of stuff. Can you share your one or two biggest tips dental or non-dental for making our life more efficient, better, more productive? – Yeah so like i said i was thinking about this as i was running today and i i don’t think i’m great and i think that’s one the first thing i would say is like have that mindset of like it’s a journey like you’re never there necessarily so you can always get better and and do more. I’m very productive at consuming information i think so like i said i like to multitask like it’s not often where i’m sitting at home or on commuting or even at work where i’m not trying to like learn something while i’m doing something else. So i always have a podcast in the background or like a youtube video in the background which is good because you’re always you know learning and consuming it but i think the next step of that that i’m working on this year has been implementation. So you can always have the knowledge, you can you know go to all these cpd events and learn a procedure in dentistry or you can watch these tutorials or podcasts about investing or whatever it may be but like that step of okay i’ve understood the factors, i know the knowledge but now i need to like apply it to my real life. Take that step you know buy my first stock or you know do my first implant or take out my first tooth or wake up at five tomorrow and actually do my morning routine whatever it makes you. Do you do that by the way? – You know it comes and goes i’m pretty good. Normally i try and wake up around 5:30 and i have like a thing that i do and i think one of the videos that i did recently was the cool thing about it is you don’t need to be so regimented I think. You can have different phases where you try different things or whatever fits in your life at the moment. So for me right now for the past maybe six months eight months running has been probably the biggest thing outside of work that i focus on and spend time on. So my morning routine is like wake up do my like morning mobility and things like that and then have breakfast and watch like a youtube investing tutorial because i’m trying to learn about investing all that at the same time. So that’s sort of it but in terms of to answer your question. I’m going the long way around here but one of the main things i use is like apps. So i use trello, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that? Yeah, I’m familiar with trello. Explain to everyone what trello is Yeah, so trello is essentially it’s like a it’s like a big to-do list so you can have columns of things. So it took me a while to like really master my sort of the workflow there so essentially how i have it right now and maybe i’ll share a screenshot or something of it is. I have you know on the left side i have like open loops i call them so there’s like long-term ideas and plans and things that i want to get to one day. So for example before i did the noobie dentist rebrand that was there like i was there for months because i was like i want to do it one day whenever i get the time. So those are my open loops and then i have like my monthly, weekly, daily to-do list so then i kind of drag it across like when the week comes i’ll be like okay i do these ten things this week. Put it there and I’m gonna go of those ten i’m doing these three today. So that way you when your time pour you sit down, you just open up your trello board that you’re organized. I usually do that like on the weekend on the sunday or something for the week ahead. So when i wake up i only have 30 minutes i can just look through my list like these three things i can just bang out right now it’ll take me 10 minutes to do it and i’ll do it. So that’s been a big you know time efficiency for me because i don’t waste time thinking okay what do i have to do, what’s next, what do i have to plan, who’d have to contact and then you get a nice dopamine rush because when you like take it to the completed list then you see your completed task list grow that’s pretty rewarding as well So that’s, i guess my tips are one is productivity and consumption so multitask. Try and listen to a podcast when you’re out for a run or at the gym or – Toilet university Yeah so that’s always fun but and then try to do this like some people just like pen and paper that works for most people like having to do list. I think i mentioned one that i learned from Kevin O’Leary on a youtube video i was watching actually is he has like a sticky note that he sticks onto his computer three things that he’s gotta do first thing in the morning. So he does that before he goes to bed and then when he wakes up those three things are there just gets it done and then he can start the rest of his day. – I like that a lot and i like your trello system. So trello is a really cool app The way i’ve done it recently which i found helpful as well and maybe you try it this way or maybe you will try in the future and let me know what you think about this is sometimes a to-do list and i’ve got a massive to-do list here man and i found that sometimes just like you had those open loops and you get around to it whatnot i had too many of those and now i’ve started to integrate it more with google calendar so now you have to you put it into a physical space and you’ve allocated got like protected time for that and i find that i’m getting more done because i’ve got that protected time but you know there’s always issues doing it that way as well but I do like your trello system because it breaks up into you know weekly, open loops, daily sort of thing so you know i’m always looking for gems like that so i might look at it again. I think it’s good for teams if you work as part of a team, trello is good because it allows everyone to sort of access and and tick things off right? – Yeah but that’s what we do with the podcast and this is you know like i said this is just stuff i’m learning this year and a lot of it goes down to my friend David who has his own dental podcast as well. We, he’s very systemized whereas i’m not as systemized of a person but i’m learning a lot from him so David. -What’s David’s podcast? Tell us. It’s an Australian podcast called Dental Head start. So he’s doing great as well Growing quite rapidly much like you are. So i like that systemization with the podcast we have you know episodes that i’ve about to record, episodes I’ve recorded, episodes that have gone off to the editors and then the guys that i have helping me with the social media side of things. Know where things are at and can track it as well. – Do you think people dentists can use this in practice? Do you think, is it something that you can use as a practice manager? Have you heard of dental practices using a system like this because it sounds pretty good actually if if you got the manager, the treatment coordinator, some dentist using a version of trello to get more stuff done efficiently as a team? It would be an interesting thing to do. For sure and i think there’s a lot of space to improve that in a lot of dental practices right? Like not many of the practices would be that systemized but i think it’s such a nice visual tool, you can like color code different tasks and things in there. So you know even like as an associate dentist for example you have like cases that are ongoing you can have them on there, you have cases that you got to do a case presentation on or chase up lab work. I think it’s a really useful tool for dentists to use for sure. – And i like that dopamine hit you said because sometimes i don’t know if you’ve ever done this, Omid, tell me I sometimes I make a to do action and i take it away straight then and there because i’ve just done it but i need to register that i’ve done it and then that’s a level obsession that sometimes you get when you have these dopamine hits so i i love those little gems so guys check out trello also check out the dental head start podcast because i love promoting our own you know our fellow podcasters and stuff because because we It takes a lot of hard work and effort and when you look at your own your website and stuff and the amount of visuals you have, the amount of great content you have. It takes a lot of effort you know I stan more than anyone. So we have to support each other and and send each other to these the awesome podcasts. The next thing i ask is something that you’ve covered so many times i love it in your podcast but i want you to introduce to my audience as well is what makes a great dentist like this is such a big question, right? Like you know we all want to be this awesome dentist but what do you think because you’ve spoken to such a huge variety of guests and i feel like you’ve pinched a few things. You’re like as my colleague Zak calls it you’re like a patchwork quilt of all the other dentists or whatever, right? Or the average of the five dentists you spend the most time in, one of your recent episodes as well but what do you think is the key attributes that’s going to help a young dentist become great? I think the main thing is communication. I think at the end of the day regardless of your skill level, if you can communicate well with the patient, if you can get what you know or see in your head to the patient and make them understand, why they need certain treatment or even you know the consent we talked about litigation and things like that i think a lot of that comes to like poor communication, right? So you know if you’re good at warning the patient of what can potentially happen before it happens it’s a whole different conversation once if it happens, right? Whereas if you’ve never warned them about it and oh now oh sorry the instrument’s separated in your two thousand endo If you’ve never warned them that this could happen or it does happen then they look at you like you’re making excuses at that point, right? So I always think communication is the number one tool for success because you don’t have, you don’t need to have the best hands, you may not be the best clinician but if you can communicate really well. Those are the really successful dentists so that’s one. The second thing is that internal accountability because you know once you graduate, Once you’re working there’s no one looking over your shoulder, no one’s telling you, you could do that a bit better, maybe just do that again or maybe re-prep that or just refine that margin or you know what, just take that impression again it’s not good there’s a bit of a bubble on the margin. You might just be in a rush, your next patient’s waiting in the waiting room and you’re just like i’ll just send it off. So i think that sets precedence because if you are relaxed with yourself and you let your own standards slip. Nobody else is going to reach you on that so that adds up over time and then you just build bad habits and that has a big impact on you. So good communication, good internal accountability for, like set your standard because like you know the quote is like “How you do some things is how you do everything” So i’m a big believer in that now and i wasn’t like that always like i said early on i was all about you know production and fast and speed and it wasn’t great because i let my internal standards slip and eventually i was like you know what this is not the level of work i want to do. So i started posting on instagram i started posting my cases and i started getting feedback and that became the game then was okay how can i get better like clinically. So I think that’s the main two things i would say and then the third thing is obviously it’s an interesting one it’s like being selfish like you have a good level of self assuredness. You need to be confident in yourself and your own abilities and the difference between that and being like egotistical is you’re open to feedback and you’re open to ongoing learning, so if you’re assured you say i want to get better you’ll go to a mentor, you’ll go to events or cpd events and courses and things and you’ll not be cocky about it. You’re like yes i can improve, i can get better, i can learn, i can do that better. So I think that’s the main three things communication, internal accountability and being self-assured I think i was going to say that one and three but even two to some degree of those three things. They definitely have the theme of emotional intelligence you know having the self-awareness and communication theme it’s not just verbal, it’s the non-verbal, it’s the empathy , it’s a sympathy. So that screams emotional intelligence which is great and you know we’ve covered that on the podcast before and number two point i’m gonna go to it again because i wanna emphasize that your own standards can drop so quickly it’s amazing right? As a dentist because you’re right. No one’s looking over your shoulder and you just the more shortcuts you take and we’ve all done it, we’ve all done it, right? The more shortcuts you take the more drags you accept in your impressions or the technician will just guess where the margin is or whatever but you’re right. I completely agree with you that is to taking the photos when you start taking photos of your damn impressions and when you start showing other people’s there is no faster way to improve than that. So i’m so glad you mentioned it there as well I mean. Do you tend to post cases daily, weekly because that’s something I struggle with time especially with covid demand. I have so much respect for the clinicians on instagram that are like prolific with that stuff I started to i mean i like with the noobie dentist instagram page, early on was more about i would just like share what i was doing and with my cases and things and you know it’s hard to maintain it. So i’ve just made it now just like a pure podcast sort of page. I don’t really post like my own work or anything like that at this point. Because it’s tough man. It’s like you have to rotate your photos crop them like people do amazing things that they get the crowns and they overlay it beautifully onto the preps. I know how to do it but i haven’t got the time to go on photoshop and do that and it’s amazing and i’m not saying these people have surplus of time or anything it’s just they value that and they love that. It’s a habit. It’s amazing. It’s so good. Any tips to post more cases be able to any tips you can give us a you know What can someone do to because yes we’ve identified that you should post your cases or just take more photos you don’t have to post them but take more photos but how can you get into the habit you mentioned habit and something you spoke about in your podcast for as well but What tips can you give someone to make a habit of taking photo. It’s early friction, right? Like with any new thing that you’re going to take on. Any new habit you’re going to build. It’s going to feel annoying. It’s going to feel like it’s taking too long and you want to, it’s going to be easy to give up right away because it’s just like a new thing that you’re trying out So especially if it’s not something you don’t enjoy. Like if you enjoy it sometimes it’s easier to form that habit but if it’s something that doesn’t come naturally you’re not familiar with the camera. It’s clunky, it’s you gotta take your glove off you gotta just slow things down So i think it’s just making a commitment to yourself okay i’m gonna take a photo every third case this week and like not an ambitious goal like i’m gonna photograph every step of every case because that’s then you’re easier it’s more likely to fail so i think pick a one or two cases ahead of time like oh i’m doing you know three back-to-back fillings on this quadrant and I’ve booked an hour and a half. Book an extra 10-15 minutes just take your time. Take your photos and then look at it and then analyze it. How can i get the photos better first of all, how can i make the work better clinically and then i think that’s the best way because i think a lot of us we want to start working on it like i’m going to go to gym seven days a week. I’m gonna wake up at five and you’ll do that for like two days and then you just stop doing it, right? So I think, yup i think that’s the best way just pick one or two cases in a week. Book an extra bit of time. ‘I’m doing a nice crown prep wednesday morning let me just give it an extra 10 minutes i’m gonna take good photographs’ Look up before time how to use the camera. Look up some photos on instagram and kind of see what can i can i mimic that? Can i imitate that? And then try and aim for that level and then i think gradually you’ll enjoy it and kind of start building it up from there. – And you have to make these i love the term early friction used and you have to reduce the friction You have to lubricate it and the way i think you can lubricate the friction is by making sure that you A) you tell your nurse ‘hey i’m thinking of taking photos of this case’ because if suddenly you say Let’s take photos and i was like wait we don’t even have retractors in this room right or where the mirrors and what you know to even warm your mirrors to prevent steaming or whatever so you gotta tell your nurse you gotta have that stuff out and the biggest thing for me starting out taking photos a year at dental school was i just have the camera out it’s like within arm’s reach, right? It’s like out. You should never be in a situation where you think oh i’m gonna take photos but now i need to go into a cupboard assemble the body to the lens assemble the ring flash. That’s the worst frame of mind, right? -That’s just adding friction right it’s definitely the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish there. – 100%. So that’s how we’re going to lubricate our photography fiction. Friction even. Tell people that’s just accountability as well, right? If you tell your nurse you’re gonna like i’m a huge accountability person because i think if i tell my nurse look ‘we had this crown prep at nine o’clock today i’m gonna take photos of every step’ then you’re more likely to do it as well because they know they’re planned. Your plan, the plan is in place and then you’ll execute it. Accountability from the nurse also sounds cool man, right? The next question i have because i’m going through this because these are questions i get all the time and i want to ask your perspective because again you’ve had these amazing guests on is pathways like you know what kind of dentist do i want to be do you want to be and before i hit the record button you know you were telling me about you. What you’re up to. So maybe you can hear a little bit about what you are up to and what you where you want to be but the most common thing and even i found it like you know three years at dental school i’m thinking what I want. How do i want to mold the rest of my career, right? Like it’s such a big such a huge topic. Do I want to specialize? Do I want to do any advanced MSC programs? Do I want to Do i want to be placing implants or do i not want placing implants and sometimes you have to make these decisions early on about which direction and people say all the time find your niche, right? Find your niche so the question i have for you is Omid, have you found your niche and also what what is your pathway likely to be and then how can you self-discover that where you’re going? So I guess i’ll start with answering the second one first, the journey of self-discovery I think that’s a really great question you know it’s such a broad specialty, right? There’s so many different levels and you know what i’m about to say is not to like demean people who just you know you know stick to their scaling cleans and just do like their fluoride and fissure seals and then they just want that stress-free life and that’s it and they just come to work and that’s it that’s fine and there’s a place for that and a lot of people are happy doing that you know one thing one quote that i love is just like you know you got to be the driver of your own ship essentially. You got to be the captain of your own ship. So when you graduate there’s a lot of options you may not necessarily pick the right option right away but i think after a few weeks or after a few months of work. You start to realize okay do i want to work you know in like a treadmill type practice where i’m just pumping out work. I’m not necessarily happy. I’m not necessarily enjoying the type of work I’m doing. I’m just trying to fill quotas and make money and the clinical side of things is kind of slipping. The standard is slipping. Some people love that. Some people just like the flow and just want to pump it out and their job satisfaction comes from the income and that’s fine as well Other people are like craftsmen, right? They want to master the craft, they want to sit there, they want to take their time like slow dentistry and the whole movement with like rubber dam rubber damn fam and like all that kind of stuff on instagram but and they love that because they’ll sit there. They’ll spend an hour and a half doing a composite even though they may not charge enough money to like make it worthwhile. It’s not about the money for them, it’s about the arts and the craft and just getting better at that. So i think that’s something that you got to decide for yourself is do you enjoy the craft or do you enjoy the business side of it or do you want to just have a stress-free work environment? Just come to work and clock in clock out and your passion comes outside of work and whatever maybe hobbies and things that you have. So that’s i mean there’s no judgment either way you can you can as everyone does there’s a whole plethora of that. There’s public dentistry where it’s like no stress you can just you know put in GICs all day and then just go home or you can do all four implants or orthodontics or advanced you know high stress high failure rate type of things or like you’re going home and you’re stressed before you go to bed because you’re worried – High risk high reward. – Yes, so for me you know that was that was. I worked in a lot of practices. I worked in toronto and i came back to australia and i was working and i got to experience a lot of this So i worked in a you know a pump practice, treadmill practice in canada just really busy i was a new grad and I just. I didn’t have the skill level to like keep up with the principal dentist. So my work quality was really bad and i still look back and i’m still like oh man i feel bad for these patients i should like call them and be like are you okay like can i still do your work again – We all feel like that don’t worry. We all feel like that. – And then i moved to Australia and i got a job in a really good practice with one of my old university demonstrators and he’s like a craftsman at heart like you know we rubber dam every even like a simple occlusal, we’ll put a rubber dam on. We take photos and the practice is set up for it like the nurses know that we’re rubbing daming every tooth. So i had a good year of just like high-end good dentistry. High standard of dentistry and that changed my mindset from the you know production side to the let me get better as a clinician side So i think that’s the journey that a lot of people need to go on and decide what’s for them and then within that then there’s okay what do i enjoy like? I tried the whole restorative route and it’s just not for me. Like it’s too finicky for me. I like more macro and so i really fell in love with surgery like I rather, much rather you know break a root tip and get stuck for an hour trying to dig out the root tip than to try and get a you know invert my rubber dam so it’s not like a little speck of but coming up from the margin so like that stuff i hate it like i just sat there like the sort of thing and surgery you know it can be clean and art and finesse as well but it’s like it’s more macro. So it’s just a bigger scale where you can just have a different level of control. So that’s why this year i chose to sort of take a step back almost you know a huge pay cut. Even to go back into the public system and do a one-year sort of hospital residency training just to get really really comfortable with like poor oral surgery. So you know wisdom teeth, surgical extractions, managing medically compromised patients. So from this then i hope to move on and i’m doing like a post-grad cert program in implants right now. So i think that’s my niche will be because I still will probably do some general dentistry like i’m not getting any sort of like specialist credentials out of this but it’s more so just to focus my practice on surgery. Taking out wisdom teeth, taking out teeth putting in some implants because i think that’s where i get my my job satisfaction and honestly we had this chat with the realtoothdoctor on instagram i’ve recently just podcast interviewed him. They’ll hopefully come out in a couple weeks but we were agreeing that we would take out wisdom teeth for free even like if they said come work on saturday just take out wisdom teeth like i just love doing it like the the satisfaction when the tooth like flicks out is just like nothing beats that for me. So that’s been sort of my adventure and my path to finding my niche. I would say structured learning is important, right? So you mentioned the master of science programs and like kings and things. There’s a lot of australian guys that do those via distance learning and they come over to the UK to do the hands-on components. So i think that’s if you really want to find a niche then you have to do something structured like that because it’s very hard to get that depth of knowledge by doing a weekend course here and there so i would say work for a few years, see what you enjoy and don’t enjoy, see what drives you crazy and what kind of keeps you motivated and then maybe just pick what you enjoy doing and go depth. I always look for a few gems and everything someone says and then, you were packed full of gems there but i’m gonna highlight one of them which is the fact that you you said you would do something for free, right? And so maybe for others they’d be like you know what i can do class four composites and i would do it for free because when that case comes through or sometimes people come in and they’ve got like a a dark central incisor and then they will heavily discount the whitening rate because they love that satisfaction of getting that black central incisor going white again and they get that lovely satisfaction from any certain type of case and i think maybe, maybe that is one way that a dentist can identify what their true calling is or what kind of work they need to niche down into. So that’s a great way of saying it so maybe dentists out there we should think is there any aspect of your clinical dentistry that you like so much that even if you didn’t charge for it all was not as profitable as the rest of dentistry that you think you know what i still do it? Maybe that’s the answer. So I love that you shared that and it’s really made me think hey you know what kind of stuff would i not mind doing and that’s a great way to put it. So thanks for sharing that. I think people will listen to that thing, ‘hey you know i i can now identify what it is’ because we all have that annoying friend at dental school who who from third BDS they knew they wanted to be an orthodontist or they knew they wanted and they went straight into that path but your path is very much, you’re still self-discovering but you’ve been through all the different sectors because you have done the public and and the high-end practice and then and then you came to terms with the fact that ‘hey i don’t like inverting dams but i like getting root tips’. So that’s an important part of everyone, you have to struggle you have to struggle a little bit right to find out what your niche is. Yeah and i like i always say you know there’s no race you know some of your friends may be more talented or more ambitious or whatever it may be and they might get there much faster than you. I think that’s everyone needs to just have everyone has their own kind of process and journey to get to where they want to get and some people are late bloomers and they you know different things in life. I think that’s one of the beauties of dentistry because I definitely found this myself before starting this job was you know if i was you know focused more on the podcast or i was more focused on you know training for a marathon or whatever it was. I could really easily just like turn down the dial at work like i would just like not take on big cases. I would just be cruising along at work and then when i was like no i’m ambitious at work i’m like you know presenting big cases and like getting all these like multi-unit like restorations and crowns and things and so i found that really interesting because you can really choose how involved you want to be at work as a dentist it’s not like you can be passive and refer things out or you can take on hard things. It’s really up to you and your appetite for how much you want to take on essentially. That’s a mindset thing isn’t it? It’s a mindset and how much you want to put yourself in a zone of discomfort or out of your comfort zone and like i said you can tone that down and you can tone it up and sometimes in life for your mental health or for burnout ,you have to sometimes turn it down and and that’s the way life is and sometimes your health you have to do that but i think when you’re a new grad turn it up as much as you can without entering the danger part and i think the more mentorship you can get, the easier it is then the less resistance that dial has and i think that the key to that is mentorship. So you said you worked with someone who used to be a demonstrator at uni. Would you say that was a mentor for you? 100% that job like redefined what dentistry was for me because i went from you know the single tooth to come in. ‘Oh you got a cavity there let me fix it too’. Understanding because he does a lot of ortho and things as well so understanding like full mouth, you know opening up VDO and it was crazy because i like i said communication is a big thing for me and i’m if you’re the same way you’re a podcaster you know words come naturally i’m sure you have great rapport with your patients so. I got really comfortable communicating and i just didn’t have the skills clinically to back up my cases like i would present the case like okay we need to like do a full mouth rehab and you’re like yeah i’m like are you sure like I can’t. – What do we do now? That was great because then i would just you know take photos, go next door, he would sit down with me for a few hours. We planned the whole case, this is what we need to do, this is we gotta add to this surface, gonna reduce this we gotta and then I’ll come back with confidence and a full plan and then just execute it and that was like amazing because it just changed how i was doing dentistry all together. I think you’ve raised a really good point there because sometimes you could be clinically excellent but you are unable to communicate well enough to just to really help your patient self-discover and find the value and how much you can improve their life and health with the dentistry that you can give them, right? But then if you’re on the other end where you’re just you know my nurse sometimes thinks that i’ve got the gift of the gab or with the patients what not but it’s dangerous if you don’t have the clinical understanding to back it up and just again you have that mentor. So i would say mentorship is a is a theme that can always happen exactly and these types of themes of episodes. I think the mentorship’s like the one thing that keeps coming again and again and again and i’ve always said that you can identify a mentor anywhere like Frank Spear is a mentor of mine I’d say. I’ve never met the guy okay? I just consume a lot of his content but to me he’s a mentor like i can really resonate with what he says and i learn a lot from him so it’s never been a better time to be a dentist you can have a remote mentor. That’s the best. That’s true with online learning and distance learning it’s incredible you can any time you have you can sit at home and watch lectures from around the world from experts and even social media is a great place to find mentors if you really enjoy someone’s work you can just reach out with questions and people are like amazingly free with information, right? You can reach out to like a periodontist in somewhere in the UK or in the United States and they’ll tell you exactly like this is what I use, this is how i use it, this is the material, this is the grafting technique blah blah like it’s just amazing how much information you can get if you’re hungry to get it. – And no other time in history could you just do that like you couldn’t. Even early 2000s you couldn’t just reach out to anyone, anywhere and you couldn’t just dm Pascal Magne, you know you couldn’t. Not that he ever replies to me. Same here, man. I tried. Pascal, listen help us out man. Omid from noobie dentists. Jaz for protrusive, just help us out buddy. Come on. It’s amazing I was listening to a book when i was writing a few months ago called grit and i’ve talked about one of the weekly mentorship things and this amazing idea that they introduced called the social multiplier effect. So and the example they used was basketball for example so in the United States you know until pretty much the mid 80s like NBA games or ABA games at the time they weren’t televised so people wouldn’t really get to see basketball at the professional level on tv every night and then in the 80s when they start showing basketball every night you know kids will be watching it they go to the playground they’re imitating MJ, they’re imitating you know Dr J and so the kids are getting better and then their friends on the playground see them doing it like what is that like where’d you see that and then they started practicing it. So when you look at the professional basketball player from like 1990 or even the early 2000s to the professionals now the level of skill in the game is just like unbelievably advanced and i think the same thing is happening in dentistry because you know think about it like in 1970 if i was in melbourne doing class 4 amalgams or class 2 amalgams. I have no idea what Pascal Magne is doing in Europe or Matt Najada is doing in LA I’m isolated, right? So now i’m every day i wake up on lunch or toilet university as you said before looking at instagram and it’s like man like this is like this guy’s doing this type of graft, this guy’s doing this type of implant, this guy’s doing this type of composite. So my understanding of what’s possible, your understanding of what’s possible is just like miles ahead of what a dentist 20 years ago would have been. I’m so glad you introduced me to that. What’s it called? The social? The social multiplier effect. – I love that and you’re so right, we see it in Dentistry and i mean i’m gonna go and buy lots of shares in rubber dam now after you said that because it’s true because everyone’s isolation game like you know i think the percentage of dentists caring about rubber dam isolation has probably gone from like two percent to 20 in the last few years because we’re all seeing on social media beautifully presented and then we’re starting to notice the benefits more and just like in basketball in the 80s and televised they used to see this and now they’re seeing all this awesome dentistry, everyone’s like ‘crap i need to elevate my game and i need to you know give a better service to my patients’ and you’re right we are improving because it is more televised in that sort of basketball sense. I never thought about it that way but you’re right so i’m going to buy shares in every rubber dam company there is because i think it’s only going to go up, right? That’s the best part and once i remember in dental school i was like man once i graduate i’m never using a rubber dam again I said the same thing Honestly now like if i have to do one without rubber dam, i’m just miserable because like the tongue is there, the cheek is there. You just put your dam on and even though i don’t love doing restorations and whatnot but it’s still like a peaceful situation to be and once you got the dam on. – It’s a stress-free situation i actually accepted a new job in march and part the terms and conditions was ‘hey i’ll work but you can never run out of the uno dent latex free rubber dam’ It’s you know, capiche and then and an agreement so that’s amazing. So i’m gonna wrap up now and ask you you’ve had such amazing guests on your podcast so you know you’re just way ahead in the game of dental podcasting with the caliber of guests you’ve had. I’m still catching up my friend, Nancy the guest you’ve had, amazing. So tell me who has been without undermining any other guests but this is a tough question, right? I hope never no one ever asked me this but who’s been the most inspirational guest you’ve ever had on the noobie dentist and what did they teach you. I know it’s really unfair. I’m sorry Yeah you know there’s so many that come to mind obviously like one of the main ones like just instrumental for the podcast was like Bruce Freeman, so he’s a orthodontist in toronto and he’s you know become a friend and a mentor. He you know he’s quite active in the dental community in in canada so when he came on my podcast early on maybe like episode like 12, 13 whatever it was. That was like a big turning point for the podcast in terms of downloads and exposure and things so that meant a lot to me and then we recently just did another like sort of two-part episode about and he’s quite experienced you know. He’s much ahead in his career towards the end of his like clinical practicing life and he’s on to like teaching yoga and mindfulness and all this kind of stuff. So i have a lot to learn from him in terms of you know staying like you know keeping the side hustles going, i love that because a lot of people at his stage of his career would be like winding down or maybe just you know comfortable with what they achieved but now he’s you know adding things. He’s lecturing on patient experience and mindfulness and working with big you know dental corporations in canada and things so as someone who’s won a great condition, good communicator, good side hustler, a lot to learn from him so he’s been one of the main ones the other one that really comes to mind is like the implant ninja like Ivan Chicchon. I’m not sure if you’ve seen him on instagram. – He came on the podcast for me as well we talked about basic implant occlusion we talked about because i wanted to just niche down into that area Ivan is such a cool guy, what a story he has. – Man like his drive, his hard work, his story of like how he got into like his man like specialty program. He just went over to like i think it was michigan from memory and he’s just like can i just come shadow you and then while he was there he’s like can i just interview him already here and he just like hustled his way into the program I have a lot of respect and admiration for his hard work and like the amount of content and the courses and the everything that he puts out is quite amazing. So there’s many others but i think those two are the main people that i’m just like i still i look up to like i wake up and I want to be like them one day. I really appreciate you answering those tough questions i know that they’re not easy but that is awesome. I really appreciate you coming on my friend i just wanted to get your word out there because the stuff you do with the weekly mentorship and and all the other you know i say go back and listen to all the you know big from the beginning of Noobie dentists and some great content there. So, Omid, thanks for giving up your time to come on my show. I really appreciate that buddy. – I appreciate the opportunity, man. It’s great to talk to you like i said that your passion is quite infectious. I got to raise my game up and with the execution but definitely hopefully we can return the favor and get you on the noobie dentist and talk. I know you’re big on you know occlusion and night guards and splints and things like that i think you can have offer a lot of value to the listeners so we’ll definitely arrange that. – Awesome my friend. Well thanks so much man.

Jaz’s Outro: I hope you enjoyed that little session with Omid do dm us both on instagram. Let us know what you thought of this episode and i will catch you in the next one no doubt. Make sure you stay up to date with everything by signing up to the newsletter which is on protrusive.co.uk. Any sort of blog post or episode that you click into a pop-up will come up. You can put your email address there. There’s loads of infographics download and also of course our famous telegram group which is protrusive.co.uk/telegram and our facebook group which is the Proclusive Dental community. I will catch you very soon guys in the next episode.

Hosted by
Jaz Gulati

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